INDIA: Piplantri - Where 1 Life Creates 111 Lives

How a village leader changed the perception of women in India, one tree at a time

Girls connecting with the trees in Piplantri. Photo provided by Piplantri Village.

Girls connecting with the trees in Piplantri. Photo provided by Piplantri Village.

Every time a baby girl is born in Piplantri, India, the village gathers together to plant 111 trees in her honor. The custom began a couple of years ago, when former village leader, Shyam Sundar Paliwal was forced to ponder the fleetingness of life after his daughter tragically passed away at a young age.

Piplantri and other villages in the area were facing two crises that greatly affected the quality and value of life. One issue was social: a high rate of female infanticide. Traditionally, female births were considered a burden on the family. The parents of a girl are expected to provide a dowry to her husband’s family, which can be a big financial undertaking. Additionally, daughters were married off well before the age of 18, before they could obtain an education. 

Piplantri and its surrounding villages faced environmental hardships as well. The villages in the Rajasthan area are suffering from deforestation with the increase of marble mining. 

Paliwal decided to confront these issues with a plan that can be broken down into three words: “Daughter, Water, Trees.” 

To counter the pessimism around the birth of a baby girl—and improve the lives of the daughter and her family—the village raises money for a “trust” every time a girl is born. The family is to contribute one third of the fund, which is set aside until the girl turns 20. This alleviates the problem of the financial burden of a dowry. 

In order for the family to receive the money, they must sign an affidavit agreeing not to marry their daughter until she is of the legal age of 18 and has received a proper education. 

To solve the deforestation problem, the village gets together to plant 111 trees in the girl’s honor. As a part of the contract, the family agrees to take care of those 111 trees. Hopefully the trees will help the spread of water along the land. 

And the scheme gets even better. The fruit trees being planted were beginning to attract a lot of termites. In order to prevent infestation, the villagers planted many aloe plants to protect the trees. The villagers can harvest and sell the aloe—which has incredible healing benefits—and make a profit, to even further improve their quality of life. 

Although Paliwal is no longer the leader of the village, the tradition continues. Now, teachers report that there are just as many girls enrolled in school as boys. And, the village is lush and green with the hundreds of trees planted. 

Other villages are following suit. The nearby village of Tasol is trying out Piplantri’s eco-feminist village model.










ELIANA DOFT loves to write, travel, and volunteer. She is especially excited by opportunities to combine these three passions through writing about social action travel experiences. She is an avid reader, a licensed scuba diver, and a self-proclaimed cold brew connoisseur. 



Digital Nomads: Connecting to Wifi and Communities Around the Globe

With an uptick in digital nomad lifestyles and coworking tourism, how are digital nomads positively or negatively impacting the world?

Remote Year Kahlo group volunteering in Bogota, Colombia with former partner, TECHO, a Latin American organization that seeks to overcome poverty through the help of locals and volunteers. Photographer and CC Travis King.

Remote Year Kahlo group volunteering in Bogota, Colombia with former partner, TECHO, a Latin American organization that seeks to overcome poverty through the help of locals and volunteers. Photographer and CC Travis King.

Birds sing melodically against the white-washed backdrop on a sunny Greek isle as Travis King shares, over Zoom, how his passion for purposeful travel evolved into his role. King collaboratively runs social impact projects across the globe at the digital nomad program, Remote Year.

“I fell in love with the world and the way we can connect with new people and cultures,” King says. For close to five years, he did everything - from working on an Alaskan fishing boat to attaining a one year work VISA in Australia in order to extend the adventure.

“I kept working and volunteering and realized I wanted more,” King says.

When King started out as a Remote Year Program Leader, he found the group he led shared a deep interest in doing good. Each Remote Year community is a group of digital nomads that will stay together throughout the year, sharing experiences, lodging, and coworking spaces in 12 different cities around the world. 

“My community’s identity was connected to giving back. We made a commitment - every month we would do one big service event in each new city.”

Digital nomads, defined as people who choose to embrace a location-agnostic, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely globally are increasing in numbers, according to MBO Partner's research. As of 2019, 4.8 million remote workers currently describe themselves as digital nomads, and upwards of 17 million aspire to someday become nomadic. 

“I think we’re on the tipping point of this cloud-based revolution where most laptops can connect to the internet anywhere - it gives us ultimate freedom,” King says.

As location-agnostic lifestyles continue to grow, how are digital nomads positively or negatively impacting the places they travel and how are these programs addressing social and environmental impact? 

Remote Year Ohana group volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa with partner, Phillipi Music Project, a social enterprise aiming at offering an infrastructure to the musicians from the townships. Photographer and CC Travis King.

Remote Year Ohana group volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa with partner, Phillipi Music Project, a social enterprise aiming at offering an infrastructure to the musicians from the townships. Photographer and CC Travis King.

Making an impact is in the fabric of Remote Year, according to King, but it began as one-off projects that lacked sustainable results. “The early groups were doing great things with intention and heart - but everything was scattered,” King says. 

According to King, one group would go to Buenos Aires, Argentina and plant trees in the mangroves and the next group would find an orphanage to sponsor in Cambodia, while another group would paint families’ homes outside of Medellín, Colombia. 

“We realized if we connect the efforts, our impact overtime will be magnified,” King says. 

“A lot of problems with social and environmental impact programs are it’s a one time experience and then you’re gone,” says recent Remote Year participant, Rebecca Stone. 

“The cool thing about Remote Year is my group could start working on a project, and when we left at the end of the month, there’s a new group that came to take our place,” says Stone.

Stone completed first-hand reporting and travel industry data for Skift during her Remote Year. Like the 40 others in her group, she didn’t want to put her career on hold to travel the world. Remote Year took care of the infrastructure so she could pursue her other interests, including studying tourist impact on cities.

Since Remote Year runs several long-term programs, new groups arrive on a rotating basis to the same 12 to 15 cities, which, according to Stone, mitigates unnecessary negative tourism impact. “I’m in a city like Split, Croatia for one month. I don’t take jobs away from locals. All I do is add my income into the city via eating out, participating in activities, volunteering, all while knowing my tourism dollars are going into the city.”

Now, Remote Year impact projects focus on long-term partnerships. These partnerships touch on a diverse array of social issues. “You’ll get to see a different layer of each city you wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to,” says King about those who get involved.

With a rise in volunteering while traveling among digital nomads, some argue that this can do more harm than good. Medium contributor, Paris Marx writes in an article, “Digital nomads are far less likely to work toward positive local change or halt the gentrification that displaces long-term residents .” 

When asked whether he thinks this is changing, Marx responds, “there are some people trying to ‘give back’ in various ways, but the people taking part in these programs don't actually spend much time in these cities. They consume them; they don't live in them.”

Remote Year’s Director of Community Development and Positive Impact, Travis King, volunteering with the RY Ohana group in Cape Town, South Africa, with partner, Phillipi Music Project. Photographer and CC Travis King.

Remote Year’s Director of Community Development and Positive Impact, Travis King, volunteering with the RY Ohana group in Cape Town, South Africa, with partner, Phillipi Music Project. Photographer and CC Travis King.

When asked about the criticism of volunteering abroad, King responds, “My biggest concern is that the conversation has gone too far and people would do nothing than do something, because they worry it may be considered hurtful.” He sees this as a hurdle and encourages people to always research viable organizations and causes to put energy and funding toward while traveling. 

As of 2019, Remote Year communities have volunteered 14,842 hours, worked on 312 service projects and fundraisers, raised $134,390 and engaged 2,063 locals in their efforts.

With an uptick in coworking tourism, companies like Remote Year, Unsettled, Venture with Impact, and Nomad Cruise are growing rapidly as more people seek innovative ways to take their profession on the road. 

What’s next? 

“I would love to see our net cast wider to people of a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds so everyone has an opportunity to be part of Remote Year,” says King. He shares his last stories from Valencia, Spain where they are launching a new program to help nomadic communities preserve and share their arts with the larger Spanish population. 

Lasting impact is challenging to measure. According to Marx, real impact abroad “means getting politically involved in one's community to fight for and enact social change in the interests of working-class people. There is hope for positive change but digital nomadism isn't a vehicle for broad-based political action.”

While some people, like Marx, believe digital nomads are a highly individualized group of privileged Westerners who make little positive impact on local communities, others, like King, believe in a broader approach to giving back.

A traveler who can explore and live in new countries and cultures has a unique opportunity. Some will give back, while others may not. 

In the end, whatever one is seeking abroad, an excellent way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. 













JULIA KRAMER is a New York-based writer and avid traveler who addresses systems changes to social challenges through storytelling and community building. When she’s not writing or on the road, you will find her cooking something from her urban garden or hiking. Read more of her articles on travel and social impact at julia-roos.com.

JULIA KRAMER.png






Turning Plastic Trash Into Cash in Haiti

What would our world look like without plastic? From life-saving medical devices to computers to Tupperware, it’s changed the way we live, work and understand the world around us. But the same wonder material that has revolutionized so much is choking our oceans. It’s estimated that, every minute, an entire garbage truck worth of plastic hits our oceans. Otherwise put, 8 million tons of once-useful items find their way to global waters each year. There, over time, they break into tiny pieces called “microplastics,” which end up consumed by marine life. 

For David Katz, fighting plastic pollution should start long before a soda bottle hits the tide. What’s more, he believes the very plastic waste that litters our shores and seas is anything but waste. In 2014, David launched the Plastic Bank, “a global network of micro-recycling markets that empower the poor to transcend poverty by cleaning the environment,” according to its website. The organization currently operates in Haiti, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brazil, and works like this: community members collect plastic waste (much of it post-consumer products like milk containers, detergent bottles and plastic bags) and bring it to Plastic Bank centers where it’s weighed and exchanged for cash. In Haiti, for example, more than 2,000 collectors have recovered around 7-million pounds of plastic since the organization arrived in 2015. 

What was once considered waste can now be sold to major brands like Marks and Spencer and Henkle, who will use it to package and distribute their products in a more sustainable manner. As David Katz puts it, this “social plastic” is “empowering and precious”—something that bonds collectors in places like the Philippines and Haiti to brands and consumers around the world.

Indigenous Communities in Brazil Protest Encroachment on Land Rights

The annual Free Land protest takes on a new sense of urgency under Bolsonaro’s far-right government.

Photo of the Brazilian flag by by  Rafaela Biazi  on  Unsplash .

Photo of the Brazilian flag by by Rafaela Biazi on Unsplash.

Last week, more than 4,000 indigenous people from over 300 tribes across Brazil gathered in Brasilia to set up camp in front of government buildings for three days of cultural celebrations and protest.

While the Free Land protest is an annual event, it has taken on a new significance this year under president Jair Bolsonaro and his far-right government’s encroachment on the rights of native people and their territories. Al Jazeera writes that according to The Articulation of the Indigenous People of Brazil (APIB), the central organizer of the gathering, this year the event occurs in a "very grave context".

Recently, Bolsonaro promised to stop the development of new indigenous reserves, and to revoke the protected status of established land reserves. Bolsonaro has even gone so far as to publicly question the need for indigenous reserves at all.

The Guardian writes that among the new far-right government’s projects is a movement to enable commercial farming and mining on indigenous reserves. One of the reserves targeted is the Yanomami territory, Brazil’s largest reserve which already experiences threats from illegal gold miners.

“We are defenders of the land, we are defenders of the Amazon, of the forest,” Alessandra Munduruku, one of the representatives of the Munduruku tribe told the Guardian. “The white man is [...] finishing off our planet and we want to defend it.”

Instead of directly handling the demarcation of Brazil’s indigenous reserves, the government has given the project to the agriculture ministry, a branch controlled by the farming lobby, a powerful organization which has been known to oppose indigenous land rights (Guardian). Joenia Wapichana, the first indigenous congresswoman in Brazil, told Al Jazeera that during her time in office she had become aware of just how deeply the government was to indigenous rights. “The government is completely anti-indigenous,” she said, “[Jair Bolsonaro] is only open to those who defend mining and land grabbing, which is his intention.”

After days of encampment outside government buildings, indigenous groups began their annual march last friday. Protestors wore body paint and feathered headdresses, while beating beating drums and holding bows and arrows (Reuters).

The Guardian writes that last week Bolsonaro’s justice minister Sérgio Moro, requested the presence of Brazil’s national guard at the event, foreshadowing possible clashes with protestors. While Moro said that the guard would be working to “secure the public order and the safety of people and patrimony,” the guard said in a statement to Al Jazeera that it would use force “if necessary” to protect the “safety of the patrimony of the Union and its servers.”

In response to growing concern, the APIB released a statement saying that “our camp has been happening peacefully for the past 15 years to give visibility to our daily struggles. [...] We are not violent, violence is attacking our sacred right to free protesting with armed forces.”

In a statement to Reuters, David Karai Popygua, a native person from the state of Sao Paulo, summed up what is at stake for protestors. “Our families are in danger, our children are under threat, our people are being attacked,” he said. “In the name of what they call economic progress they want to kill our people.”





EMMA BRUCE is an undergraduate student studying English and marketing at Emerson College in Boston. While not writing she explores the nearest museums, reads poetry, and takes classes at her local dance studio. She is passionate about sustainable travel and can't wait to see where life will take her.

emma bruce.png

 



Working to Keep an Island Afloat

For most people, keeping track of one job is complicated enough—now, imagine juggling six. On the small island of North Ronaldsay off the northern coast of Scotland, that’s the case for many of the residents. With a population of just 50, everyone has to work a handful of jobs to keep the island afloat. Sarah Moore is part of North Ronaldsay’s trusted work force. She works as a mailwoman, home care worker, council clerk, airfield attendant, baggage handler and firefighter. Oh, and did we mention she also keeps a flock of sheep? Sarah moved to the island after searching for quiet from the big city. In North Ronaldsay, she feels like she has found her purpose as a part of something bigger than herself—a caring community.

In Haiti, Climate Aid Comes with Strings Attached

Haiti had not yet recovered from its devastating 2010 earthquake when it was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. It is one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to climate change.  AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Haiti had not yet recovered from its devastating 2010 earthquake when it was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. It is one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to climate change. AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Perhaps no people know better than Haitians just how dangerous, destructive and destabilizing climate change can be.

Haiti – which had not yet recovered from a massive 2010 earthquake when Hurricane Matthew killed perhaps a thousand people and caused a cholera outbreak in 2016 – is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change.

Scientists say extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods and droughts will become worse as the planet warms. Island nations are expected to be among the hardest hit by those and other impacts of a changing climate, like shoreline erosion.

For poor island countries like Haiti, studies show, the economic costs, infrastructural damage and loss of human life is already overwhelming. And scientists expect it will only get worse.

To help Haiti address this pending crisis, international donors have stepped in with funding for climate action. The problem with that system, as I found in a recent analysis of international climate aid in Haiti, is that the money may not be going where it’s most needed.

Extreme vulnerability

Though Haiti’s greenhouse gas emissions amount cumulatively to less than 0.03 percent of global carbon emissions, it is a full participant in the 2015 Paris climate agreement and has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 5 percent by 2030.

To meet that goal, Haitian officials say, the Caribbean country must switch 1 million traditional light bulbs for more efficient LED bulbs, grow 137,500 hectares of new forest and shift 47 percent of its electricity generation to renewable sources. Those are just a few objectives in Haiti’s 2015-2030 climate plan.

Almost a fifth of Haiti’s population works in agriculture. To achieve climate resilience, farmers must still be able to feed people even after a disaster.  Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Almost a fifth of Haiti’s population works in agriculture. To achieve climate resilience, farmers must still be able to feed people even after a disaster. Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

It needs help to meet them.

Haiti is among the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly 60 percent of the population lives on less than US$2.41 per day, according to the country’s 2012 household survey, the most recent poverty data available.

More than 20 percent of its national budget is funded by loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund – a setup that gives international lenders an unusual level of control over Haiti’s government expenditures.

The same is true of Haiti’s climate mitigation efforts. The majority of the money behind its 15-year plan to finance climate mitigation and adaptation activities – from disaster preparation and renewable energy development to increasing food security – also comes from international donors.

The crowdsourced nature of Haiti’s climate budget can make it hard to determine just how much money Haiti has to spend – and what, exactly, the government can spend it on.

So, last year, I worked with the Climate Policy Lab at the Fletcher School at Tufts University to analyze Haiti’s climate budget.

A hodgepodge of climate funding

In an unpublished 2018 study, we found that the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank are the two biggest donors to Haiti’s $1.1 billion climate fund. Switzerland is also a major financier, having given the Caribbean nation $64.4 million since 2009, as is Japan, which has given $14.8 million to help fund Haiti’s climate efforts.

Most of this $1.1 billion comes in the form of grants, not loans – it’s free money. And, in a country with a gross domestic product of $8 billion, $1.1 billion for climate mitigation is a substantial sum of money.

However, as my recent analysis of the Tufts climate study shows, the bulk of the money appears to be misallocated.

Numerous international donors, each of which has set its own climate objectives, fund climate action in the country. The result, I found in my analysis, is that Haiti’s climate budget is a mashup of donor priorities that puts too much money behind certain initiatives while underfunding other environmental needs.

Fully 70 percent of Haiti’s $1.1 billion climate budget – $773 million – is earmarked for making energy production more sustainable in Haiti. This involves improving hydroelectric power and increasing solar usage, among other energy upgrades.

Renewable energy may have seemed like a sensible priority for the World Bank and other individual donors. But, put together, this is a disproportionately high investment for a country with such low carbon emissions, my analysis shows. My research suggests the money could be better used to connect more Haitians to the energy grid. Currently, just 20 percent of Haitians – most of them in Port-au-Prince – have semi-reliable electricity. Power is a necessity after any disaster.

Reforestation projects are also notably absent in Haiti’s climate budget.

Haiti is the Caribbean’s most deforested nationSeventy percent of forests on the island have disappeared since the late 1980s. It desperately needs reforestation projects to reduce flooding, coastal erosion and water pollution and prevent mudslides.

Yet in my analysis of the total $116 million in donor funds earmarked for watershed management and soil conservation, I found barely a mention of reforestation.

Hillside neighborhoods like this area outside Port-au-Prince are prone to mudslides during heavy rain.  Reuters/Swoan Parker

Hillside neighborhoods like this area outside Port-au-Prince are prone to mudslides during heavy rain. Reuters/Swoan Parker

Mismatch between perception and reality

Other areas of Haiti’s climate change plan are somewhat better funded but, to my mind, misguided.

Take disaster risk reduction, for example. Of the $269 million earmarked for reducing disaster risk in Haiti, most funds are set aside for rebuilding after disasters.

That may seem sensible in a country prone to earthquakes, flooding and hurricanes, but research shows that sustainable construction – not merely rebuilding – better prepares a country for disasters and other long-term effects of climate change. Planning saves time, energy, money and human life.

Haiti’s international donors have set aside little money for ensuring that new highways, buildings and other critical infrastructure in Haiti are constructed in a resilient, climate-ready manner – before the next big disaster happens.

Addressing the power imbalance

This kind of mismatch between local needs and donor priorities is a common hazard of internationally funded budgets.

Donors call the shots about how their money is spent from afar. Often they don’t have enough on-the-ground information to be making such important executive decisions.

In interviews, local Haitian officials told me that the municipal agencies that actually engage with people and communities have little say over how they may spend climate funds or which environmental projects are implemented.

In Haiti, this problem is not limited to climate funding – it’s a hazard of running a national government on the largess of other countries.

Last year, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a United Nations donor agency, announced a community-based strategy to building climate resilience in Haitian agriculture by partnering with local organizations and agencies.

“This community-based approach will support Haitians working together to enhance their economic potential, resilience and coping strategies when faced with climatic and economic shocks,” a 2018 report said.

My climate research in Haiti supports this assessment.

If international donors allow Haitian authorities more control over funding, working more closely with local community organizations, they would not only help address its most important needs, the strategy would be cost-effective. Money channeled to where Haiti most needs it is money well spent.

KESTON K. PERRY is a Postdoctoral researcher, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THE CONVERSATION

Nigeria - Any Dream

In June 2017 we took a heart and went to the city of Lagos, Nigerias melting pot and the dream destination for most people who reside in nearby cities and rural communities. Everyone believes Lagos is a city where dreams come true, regardless of your means of livelihood.

This Mega Kitchen Serves 40,000 People Each Day

With one of the largest kitchens in Asia, the Shri Saibaba temple in Shirdi, India, prepares, cooks and serves quantities of food that are nearly unimaginable. The kitchen dishes out as many as 40,000 meals per day, every day, all year long. It takes 600 people working in two daily shifts to prepare all this food. Yet despite all the effort, meals are free to the public. Why? The temple believes that those who are hungry deserve to be fed, and those who are thirsty deserve to be given a drink.

TRIP REVIEW: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and Build a Farm Along the Way

We read the news and we learn what’s wrong with the world. I honestly couldn’t care less. Yes, there is war, there is starvation and death. People cheat, organizations lie and the international economy is in need of a stimulus package from God. Now you know everything you need to know about our global shortcomings. Let’s do something to help. There is an ancient Greek proverb that says, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” With the amazing amount of interconnectivity and social complexity these days, it’s easy to view Earth as one, big society and I think it’s time we began planting a couple more trees. It’s organizations like Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy that are making it easier for us do so.

It started with a passionate New York Times correspondent with an extremely manly name, Paul von Zielbauer. After making a career out of reporting on topics such as the Iraq war, the privatization of prison medical care, state government and more, Paul founded Roadmonkey. Driven by a desire to “give motivated people the chance to dive deep into a foreign culture and work hard for people in need,” Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy was born in 2008. The term “adventure philanthropy” now stands as the keystone to Roadmonkey’s philosophy. What is so unique about this organization is that the volunteers are given a chance to help those in need, but they are also getting to explore and get off of the beaten path at the same time.

Roadmonkey’s take on philanthropy is evident in their upcoming Tanzania trip. First off, let’s point out that only 6% of Tanzanians living in rural areas have access to modern electricity services. These people live off of the land and any help offered would probably be appreciated. Participants will fly out to Tanzania and lend a hand in building an organic farm for one of the local communities. A pretty standard, run-of-the-mill volunteer trip, right? Oh, I forgot to mention that the volunteers will also be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. The trip starts off with a seven-day trek up and down the mountain, don’t forget to bring your tent. The Participants will literally learn about the country from the ground up, so when it comes time to contribute to the community they will actually have a stake in what is being built. They will have experienced the culture, experienced the people and they will know that they are actually making a change.

There is only one roadblock for this Roadmonkey trip and it’s a particularly common one as well. Money. The best deal is to sign up for the trip with 8-10 other people, which cuts the price down to $5499 per person, not including airfare. No small chunk of change. This limits the trip to the privileged or to those with rigorous budget control. For those of you who are looking to volunteer international without planting your wallet in the community garden, this trip might not be for you. However, if you have the time and the money and are looking to add some spice to your life while bringing change to those less fortunate than you, look no further.

Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy is breaking down the border between volunteer work and adventure. If you can afford it, this company will send you all over the world and you can be sure of a good time. For those of you who are enticed by the opportunity, but can’t afford it, check back with Mission.tv for more trip reviews.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ROADMONKEY.NET

Kino Crooke spent the last three years juggling school and travel. He most recently spent the last two months traveling across Spain before moving to New York to work with CATALYST.

How Do You Define "Global Citizen?"

Being a global citizen means starting to think of ourselves as a global community, when it comes to things like poverty, clean water, education, etc.  Imagine every child on the planet being born with the same rights to life. The nonprofit organization GLOBAL CITIZEN makes progress on these topics easier… check out their website where you can connect, and win points and badges for taking actions. GLOBAL CITIZEN is powered by the Global Poverty Project.

CONNECT WITH GLOBAL CITIZEN

PERU: A Billboard That Creates Drinking Water Out of Air

I've never cared much for billboards. Not in the city, not out of the city — not anywhere, really. It's like the saying in that old Five Man Electrical Band song. So when the creative director of an ad agency in Peru sent me a picture of what he claimed was the first billboard that produces potable water from air, my initial reaction was: gotta be a hoax, or at best, a gimmick. Except it's neither: The billboard pictured here is real, it's located in Lima, Peru, and it produces around 100 liters of water a day (about 26 gallons) from nothing more than humidity, a basic filtration system and a little gravitational ingenuity.

Read More here